by Brad Scott
Love and hate are two words truly misunderstood and extremely overused. Love is used for everything from fried chicken to YHVH Himself. The word hate is equally spread out from broccoli to Osama bin Laden. Scripturally, this word is from the Hebrew sane' (שנא) (saw nay). It is most notably seen in the several occasions of YHVH's feeling toward Ya‘aqov and Esav.
Romans 9:13Ya‘aqov I have loved, but Esav I hated.
Male’akiy (Malachi) 1:2-3I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
Do you think that YHVH hated Esav in the same way that I hate celery or horseradish? I think not. This word means to distance oneself or to not prefer. The context of its scriptural meaning becomes more obvious when seen from its Hebrew meaning. When Yeshua‘ says that a true disciple is one who hates his father and mother (Luke 14:26), he simply means one who prefers the Messiah over his parents. YHVH preferred Ya‘aqov over Esav because Esav despised his birthright. In Mizemor (Psalm) 81:15, we read of "haters of YHVH". It is simply those who do not prefer YHVH to the rest of what life has to offer and they distance themselves from Him.
There are many other Hebrew words that would correspond better to our modern understanding of hate: bazah (despise), ma'as (to loathe), to'evah (abominable). So ask yourself, "Do I really hate my little brother?"
Shalom Alecheim! ◊